Registered Nurse Certification in How to Become an RN in Connecticut: Nursing License Application and Renewal Guide

Nursing is in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for nurses is growing much faster than other occupations, at a rate of 12% from 2018-2028. A growing field coupled with high average salaries makes obtaining nursing certification a smart career choice for those interested in helping others.

As of 2018, nurses in Connecticut earned an average salary of $81,220 per year — on par with their neighbors in New York and well above the national average for RNs.

Connecticut Department of Public Health

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (Board of Examiners for Nursing) certifies all nurses in the state. Connecticut recognizes three types of Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) including the Nurse Practitioner (NP), the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), and the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Further questions or concerns may be directed to the following point of contact:

Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Avenue, MS #13PHO
P. O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134-0308
(860) 509-7603

Registered Nurse Education Requirements

There are three pathways to certification in Connecticut. Aspiring nurses may complete a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a hospital-based program. Connecticut has many accredited schools to choose from, such as Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and Fairfield University, though interested students may attend any accredited nursing school in the U.S.

RN Licensure by Examination

After receiving an accredited degree, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Graduates must pass the exam, submit a background test, and be fingerprinted in order to receive licensure in the state. Each requirement is detailed below.

Fingerprinting and Background Checks

All nursing certification boards require applicants to submit information regarding past criminal history.

Though the state does not mandate background checks for nursing licensure applicants, certain facilities and providers require a Long-Term Care Background Check.

Approved Exams

A mandatory exam for nurses, the NCLEX ensures that only qualified individuals begin practice. The NCLEX is organized by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and uses computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Practice test questions are available online to allow prospective nurses to prepare before sitting the exam.

Applying to Take a Certification Exam

Nursing candidates must apply and register for the NCLEX online. Applications must be sent to the respective Nursing Regulatory Body. Each exam requires a $200 registration fee.

Further inquiries regarding national-level exams can be made to:

National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
Examinations Department
111 E. Wacker, Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60601-4277

Testing Vendors and Proctors

The NCLEX is conducted by the testing vendor Pearson VUE. Payment can be made online by credit, debit, or prepaid card (VISA, MasterCard or American Express only). Interested applicants looking to make third-party payments through nursing schools, agencies, or employers must submit an inquiry to Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services.

RN Licensure by Endorsement (Out of State Applicants)

Those who hold licensure outside of Connecticut may apply for certification by endorsement via the Department of Public Health. All applicants must include an official transcript of their nursing education. Applicants from Canada must successfully accomplish the CRNE (Canadian Registered Nurse Examination) in English and obtain marks equivalent to the current passing standards of Connecticut. Candidates who have finished the CRNE exam in French are expected to qualify the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 213 on the computer-based test and 550 on the paper-based test.

Applicants from states participating in Nursys may verify their licenses online through their respective license verification system. Those from non-participating states must send a verification form to the State of Connecticut. Each application requires a $180 fee.

RN License Renewal

License renewals are processed online by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. All advanced practice nurses will receive notification regarding renewal by email. They can expect to see an email approximately 60 days prior to the license expiration date. Emails will also include instructions on filing for renewal.

Continuing Education Requirements

All advanced practice nurses must submit 50 contact hours of continuing education upon applying for license renewal.

Connecticut Nursing License Verification

Utilize Connecticut’s License Lookup to verify the licensure of a healthcare person(s), facility, discipline, or provider.

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